The Thompson clan had taken over the VIP area at the top of the hotel for the weekend following the recent departure of Catherine Zeta-Jones and her golf fanatic husband Michael Douglas. If the film star couple had only hung around a few more nights, they'd have caught an inaugural performance of MN&N marketing director Stephen Thompson's new band, Breezer, at the gala dinner. Thompson minor, on bass guitar and backing vocals and nattily attired in an Hawaiian shirt, entertained 250 guests with masterly renditions of rock anthems from the likes of Jimi Hendrix, with loving parents Eddie and Cath very much in evidence on the dance floor. As one stunned supplier in the audience commented: "It's good for morale to see the gaffer do such things." And speaking of surreal turns, top retail analyst Dave McCarthy, of Schroder Salomon Smith Barney confessed the other day that he was chuffed to be invited to the recent Booker awards by Iceland boss Bill Grimsey. "Is some of our research up for a prize," he asked Grimsey. "No," came the reply. "This is an award for fiction." "Ah, then one of my competitors will have won," came McCarthy's response. {{COUNTERPOINT }}